MEN Micro Introduces D5 PowerPC Single Board Computer (SBC)

3/7/2006 - In addition to its on-board compute resources and the flexibility of its input/output (I/O) that make it deal for communications and networking applications, the new D5 PowerPC single board computer (SBC) from MEN Micro can also operate in the harshest of environments.

The 6U CompactPCI D5 is based on the PowerQUICC III family of processors from Freescale Semiconductor, Inc. The CompactPCI SBC also includes a Cyclone field programmable gate array (FPGA) from Altera that enables the onboard configuration of application-specific I/O or other functionality.

"The D5 is ideal for many communication and networking applications for several reasons," said Ernest Godsey, president of MEN Micro, Inc. "First, its on-board resources are targeted at these types of applications. Second, the MPC8540 and MPC8560 processors have the interfaces and functionality that designers of these types of systems need. And as an added bonus the D5 has a large FPGA where additional functionality can be quickly configured from intellectual property (IP) cores. Lastly, the D5 is capable of operating over the entire industrial range, so it can be deployed in some very demanding environments."

The D5 is a 64-bit/66 MHz single-slot CompactPCI SBC that can be deployed as a system- or peripheral-slot card, or as a standalone computing unit. For added I/O functionality, the D5 features two slots for PMC mezzanine cards that support both front- and rear-panel connectors. The board has one 32/64-bit, 33/66-MHz PCI bridge to the CompactPCI bus.

In addition to the wide range of communication and telecommunication applications such as gateways, routers, switches and base stations that the MPC8540 CPU specifically targets, the D5 is equally well suited for avionics and telematics systems. The MPC8560 features several interfaces specific to telecomm systems, such as ATM, E3/T3, HDLC and others. Both processors run on relatively low power, in the range of seven to eight Watts and can operate over the entire industrial temperature range from -40 to 85 degrees C.

On-board memory resources include up to four gigabytes (GB) of ECC DDR SDRAM main memory and one GB or more of NAND flash memory for program or data storage. As often required in telecomm applications, two Gigabit Ethernet and one Fast Ethernet ports are implemented as rear connections. One RS232 port is located on the front panel for debugging purposes or, as an option, the board can be configured with an interface to Compact Flash. Another serial channel is available on the board and is connected via one of MENís SA-Adapters. An IDE connector can be used for peripherals, such as an on-board hard disk.

The onboard Cyclone FPGA can implement a number of functional cores that are available as rear-panel I/O. Typical functions include graphics, touch screen, audio, CAN bus, digital I/O, additional USB ports, Ethernet and other serial connections. IP cores can be obtained from MENís function library or from third party providers, or custom cores can be developed by the design team. The content of the FPGA is loaded from flash memory before the system boots up. And the FPGA configuration can also be changed dynamically as the system is operating. The new configuration will then be available when the system is re-booted.

Comprehensive board support packages for Linux, VxWorks and QNX are available for D5. And the D5 comes with MENís own BIOS for PowerPC processors, MENMON.

Pricing and Availability
The D5 is available now from MEN Micro, Inc. Pricing starts at $2,154 for single units. In the United States, MEN Micro products are sold through a national network of technical manufacturer's representatives. For sales information, call 512-267-8883, send faxes to 512-267-8803 or email.

About MEN Micro
MEN designs, manufactures and sells board-level industrial real-time and embedded computer products. The flexibility inherent in MENís standard products allows system platforms to be custom configured for a wide range of applications. In addition, the company develops custom boards and systems for OEMs, end users and system integrators. MENís products include Embedded System Modules (ESM), VMEbus and CompactPCI compute platforms with Intel Pentium, Motorola 68000 or PowerPC processors, and a wide selection of M-Module or PC∑MIP mezzanine I/O modules. The MEN product lines support the most widely used operating systems, including Windows NT, VxWorks, OS-9, QNX and Linux.

MEN was founded in 1982 in NŁrnberg, Germany, as MEN Mikro Elektronik GmbH. The company has subsidiaries in France, MEN Mikro Elektronik SA; the United Kingdom, MEN Micro, Ltd., and the United States, MEN Micro, Inc. A network of technical distributors services and supports the rest of the world.

Windows and Windows NT are trademarks of Microsoft Corporation. OS-9 is a trademark of Microware Corporation. VxWorks is a trademark of WindRiver Corporation.

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